Amarillo economic outlook getting rosier - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Amarillo economic outlook getting rosier

Amarillo, TX -- Holiday shopping is off to a strong start this year in Amarillo -- and economists say that's a good sign.

According to the latest local data, retail sales are up almost two percent over this time last year - and while that may not sound like much, two percent is a huge difference.  In fact, local economists say trends like this could point to a brighter economic future.

As the U.S. enters its fifth consecutive year of recession, most economists agree that America is slowly recovering - and Amarillo is recovering right along with it.

"We're about almost two years out of the recession that we had, so things have been good," explains Amarillo National Bank President Richard Ware, "They slowed a little bit around the first part of this year, but now they're better. So we think that's a good sign for going into Christmas."

Holiday sales are closely scrutinized by retailers and economists alike for obvious reasons, but the tax from those sales is equally important.

Sales tax revenue is one of the most reliable economic indicators, because retail sales are a direct reflection of consumer confidence - and that confidence has a ripple effect into other facets of the economy, as Ware explains,

"Retail sales are our primary indicator of how things are going. And you take job growth, if the economy's strong in the job market - which it is - and then interest rates are low, so they're borrowing money for cars or houses, things are cheaper - that helps confidence."

Now we're still waiting to see the final figures for this year, but if you'd like a closer look at the local economic forecast, follow the link attached to this story.

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